Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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The term legitimacy (modern Latin legitimitas, primarily with reference to parentage and property) developed out of legal language toward the end of the 18th century; it denotes the “rightfulness” and consequent worthiness of being recognized and actual recognition of rulers and acts of authority as well as forms of government or the state. The political import of the related adjective (Latin legitimus) began with the linkage of inheritance law and succession to authoritative office (Throne, succession to) in the Golden Bull of 1356. It increased as part of the theory of tyrann…

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Weber, Wolfgang E.J., “Legitimacy”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 24 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_023247>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20190801

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